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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wanted a Bluetooth unit that would automatically connect when I turned on the car, but more importantly, one that would mute the radio and use the radio speakers. I found a Rostra Con-Verse unit about $170 shipped from autopartswarehouse, model number is 250-7500-HN2. Took about 2 hours - I went slow because I didn't want to break any of the panel clips.

You probably want to look at the other pics/vids that show how to remove the radio and also how to put tape on the console and a/c switch panel to keep them from getting all scratched up. I like to use clear packing tape instead of masking tape because it isn't as easily cut through by the sharp metal pieces you are going to pull out.

I didn't disconnect the battery, but they recommend you do that.

Here is what the lower left panel of the dash. Note that I had already moved the Stability Control button to the right slot (Honda puts them in the left slot).
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You'll need to remove the cover panels above and below the steering column. They are just held in by several PLASTIC clips, so be careful not to break them:
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Remove the center console panel where the cigarette lighter is. There are two Phillips screws at the top. Then pull gently from the bottom lip a little (there are 3 clips behind it) then pull downwards to clear the tabs at the top of it, then rotate open like a house door (else you'll just scratch the center console) and unplug the 2 wire connectors behind it:
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Above the hole where that panel is, are two small bolts (8mm I think) that hold in the bottom of the radio. (The lighter socket and adapter is a cell phone charger I spliced into the lighter wiring so I could have a dedicated phone charger with just the end of the cable sticking out of the dash center console where I sit my phone.)
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Then you carfully pull the radio out towards you, and on the back are like connectors. You press the little tab on each to get them out, but the main connector has a very unusual tab, where you press a little tab/nub in the center of the white lock then swing it out about 45 degrees and it releases:
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Once the radio is unplugged, you hook up the matching Rostra cable wiring connector to the Honda radio cable and into the radio itself. Run the other end of the Rostra behind and to the left, replace the other radio cable connectors if you removed them, and secure the radio back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Rostra cable connects into the Rostra control unit. I placed the Rostra unit high up on the firewall above the brake pedal. There was a factory wiring bundle already attached to the firewall and sound insulation. I just shoved it up there, and the fit was tight enough I don't think its going anywhere. I did put some hook sided self adhesive Velcro on the brand side of the Rostra unit (i didn't want to cover the diagram stickers on the back side):
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had already moved the Stability Control switch to the right side slot. Then put the Rostra switch into the left most slot. (This allows you to be able to see the switch, as well and use the switch without taking your eyes off the road, by just running your left hand down along the door, right to the switch.) Then run the back of the switch wire through the dash opening and plug into the Rostra control unit:
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mount the Rostra microphone (I put it on top of the steering column, just behind the wheel. It has double stick tape on it already. Run the wire back through the dash and plug into the Rostra control unit. Note that they include some plastic flex tubing, so you can use that anywhere the sharp metal dash parts might cut the wires.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Up above I secured the wiring with just twist ties I had, to keep the wires from moving around and getting cut:
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I carefully snapped back into place the dash panels, turned it on, and paired my phone to the unit. Noticed the switch was nicely illuminated. And I think that was about it. It took longer to write this up and post this and the pics than it did to do the actual job!
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Excellent guide! Really appreciate this-- it will help tremendously when I go do the installation on my friend's car.

The 250-7500-HN2 unit is available on eBay for $120 shipped right now.

I do have one installation question for you though. Is the mic's cable long enough for me to run up the A-Pillar? I would like to install the microphone next to the rearview mirror. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Sorry for the delayed reply. I wish I'd get a notification to a post. Maybe I don't have the right settings on that. FYI, I ordered a $120 HN2 unit on eBay in December, only to get a message that "Sorry, we just sold out" and they quickly (fortunately) refunded my money and had no comment on any restocking. Yes, I THINK the microphone wire is long enough to get to the mirror, I just tied up the excess. Although it hides it better, I don't like messing with the windshield pillar covers (airbags underneath, plug is supposed to be replaced if you pull it out) and it kind of makes you turn your head away from looking at traffic in front of you if you turn your head towards the mirror, vs the top of the steering shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Other thoughts on the Rostra Bluetooth unit after using it for a while. The other person may hear the sound quality of the Rostra as a bit tinny, but clearly understandable. Guess that's to be expected on most Bluetooth units I have used, even some of the factory units. In the car it sounds pretty good to me, and mutes the radio completely. The button backlighting is visible at night, but not obnoxiously bright thankfully. Guess the biggest plus in my view is when a call comes the radio automatically mutes and I just have to press the one control button in the dash. Everything else is a bonus.
To be able to do android phone voice-dialing (on my Samsung GS2 at least), there is a link on the Rostra website to turn off the phone as a music player (which I never use since the Civic has USB audio input, but some people might):
Rostra Precision Controls | Using Your Android-based Phone With Con-Verse Bluetooth by Rostra®
 

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Sorry for the delayed reply. I wish I'd get a notification to a post. Maybe I don't have the right settings on that. FYI, I ordered a $120 HN2 unit on eBay in December, only to get a message that "Sorry, we just sold out" and they quickly (fortunately) refunded my money and had no comment on any restocking. Yes, I THINK the microphone wire is long enough to get to the mirror, I just tied up the excess. Although it hides it better, I don't like messing with the windshield pillar covers (airbags underneath, plug is supposed to be replaced if you pull it out) and it kind of makes you turn your head away from looking at traffic in front of you if you turn your head towards the mirror, vs the top of the steering shaft.
Shortly after I ordered the $120 from eBay, I got the SAME message of "sorry we sold out" and of course, my money was promptly refunded.

I wonder if this seller is just listing these on eBay and not checking if he has stock? I am not understanding the reasoning of this at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, since they were aware of this when I ordered over a month ago ("Sorry, they sold the last unit and didn't tell me...") I kind of wonder... collecting spam email addresses possibly? Well, I think autopartswarehouse is the next cheapest that I saw. $153 free ship, tax in Calif.
Rostra Hn2 - Auto Parts Warehouse
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It mutes all of he speakers on a call, and plays the call out of all of them from what I can tell.
You know, I don't stream music from my phone. Having a 4 or 8gb flash drive plugged into the USB connector sounds just wonderful (better than MP3 off of CDs actually - I think there's a tiny bit of speed variation on the CD drive is why. Listening to the same MP3s on the CD actually kind of bothers me now that I've gotten used to how good the USB drive files sound.) I think there was some type of slight issue about streaming from a phone? There was something on the Rostra website about turning off the setting for using the phone as a music player, but I've not really had to deal with that, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh, I guess maybe you weren't talking about streaming from a phone. Yeah, I'm not sure about streaming from other sources. I know its supposed to be able to pair up with like, (five?) phones, whereas a lot of Bluetooth handsfree units will only remember the most recent pairing. I guess unless you are doing some sort of streaming from a phone internet station or something, I don't know. Else, yeah, I just stick with the USB stick.
 

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I just installed it today, but placed the mic near the rearview mirror. Mic works great, no tiny sounds at all. You may want to try placing the mic in the dot-matrix area between the end of the visor and the rearview mirror, as the distance from there to your face is shorter than from your face to the gauge cluster.

However, I seem to be getting a slight pop sound from the radio area over certain bumps now. I suspect it is due to the huge y-harness is banging against something back there. I did not remove the radio completely for my install as I just reached back there and made the connections.

Have you had any noises from the dash/radio area? Not entirely sure how to fix this or what the issue may be. Any ideas? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No noises on mine. I don't think I did anything different on my Civic, but on some installs where I have hard connectors etc that look like they might knock around, i may "pad" them with like some old cloth around them to prevent future noises, just because I usually dread having to take the dash apart again (and again) to find a problem. So if the "pop" sound is coming from the speakers, or just physically back behind the dash? Hopefully its "physical" and then I think you had a good idea on trying to pad the connectors or any other loose hard parts. If its from the speakers, could be a connection issue or could be a unit problem (hopefully not). If the harness connectors are momentarily coming loose, if I suspect a loose harness, I sometimes duck or gorilla tape them tight, or use some twist ties to make sure they stay tight. Hope you find the prob without too much pain.
 

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No noises on mine. I don't think I did anything different on my Civic, but on some installs where I have hard connectors etc that look like they might knock around, i may "pad" them with like some old cloth around them to prevent future noises, just because I usually dread having to take the dash apart again (and again) to find a problem. So if the "pop" sound is coming from the speakers, or just physically back behind the dash? Hopefully its "physical" and then I think you had a good idea on trying to pad the connectors or any other loose hard parts. If its from the speakers, could be a connection issue or could be a unit problem (hopefully not). If the harness connectors are momentarily coming loose, if I suspect a loose harness, I sometimes duck or gorilla tape them tight, or use some twist ties to make sure they stay tight. Hope you find the prob without too much pain.
Thanks for the quick reply. I actually did not notice the pop/clunk noise until the test drive, and at that point, I did not have time to disassemble everything again.

The noise is definitely physical, as it is a knock/clunk/pop from the radio itself. The bluetooth itself works flawless, in fact better than the OE system on my Toyota. So, I think the connections are fine....but its an object that is hitting something. Based on what's in that area (behind the radio), I presume that it must be from the large y-connector.

So here's my question to you: did you secure the y-connector in any way? Or did you just plug it in and allowed it to hang back there? Thanks!
 

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Luckily the noise has gone away, so I hope it stays that way.

However, I did have a bigger issue. The interface unit was velcroed in the same way that the OP did, and the velcro adhesive failed and the unit fell down during highway driving. Not a good situation.

I went back and cable tied the unit to the holes in the bracket/bar that is located between the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal. For now I used the 4-5" black cable ties from Walmart. Soon, I will find some super heavy duty ones to double-tie the unit for good measure.


 
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